I come to compliment you on
loading the dishwasher without being asked,
proud of my continued efforts in the field of
only to wind up yelling at you
for putting your muddy boots on the couch.
But why take them off, you ask, mystified–
when I’m leaving any minute now?
These are the conversations
walk out the door with you
and I’ll wait,
a hopeful, nervous gardener
to see how what I planted mingles with
what grows wild in this soil.
Watered with praise and benign neglect
and exasperation, I wait to see if
the spring crop sprouts into kindness
or tolerance, skill at negotiation
or just mud on all your furniture.